I know that this is miso related recipe, number #2, but let me tell ya. Miso is one of the most versatile ingredients- in stews, in Asian-inspired salad dressings, fish marinade, veggie stirfry, and the list goes on. Anyhow, today the highlight is believe-it-or-not, not miso, but salmon itself! And that brings me to round two of eating my way across the country, thanks to residency interviews. This time, I bring you to the West Coast.
First stop: Tatsu Ramen in Los Angeles. Unknowing to me, the airbnb host I picked to stay with lives in West LA, which is a couple of blocks away from Sawtelle, the Japantown of LA. When I yelped for nearby restaurants for lunch, little did I know that 30 Japanese restaurants would turn up on my list! Walking Sawtelle street itself is like stepping into Japan heaven, with sushi and street food and ramen restaurants lining up the street with little red lanterns floating over the sidewalk. Tatsu Ramen was my final pick for lunch. They have a variety of tonkatsu broth and soup base to pick from, and you can customize your meat and topping choices. I went with the traditional tonkatsu pork belly ramen. It was delicious and greasy, just what I needed after a long flight. Pro tip: they have all you can eat dry seaweed on each table! Average meal: $12
Second stop: La Note Provencal in Berkeley, CA. After a thirty minute wait at 2:30pm on a Sunday afternoon, my friend and I finally got seated at this gem of a French-styled brunch place. The inside decor is very European. Their baguette, ohhh is so fragrant and pillowy-soft and warm! Order their baguette a la merguez, aka. spicy lamb sausage sandwich which was a blast of flavors but not overpowering or too salty. If you’re a dessert brunch person, their lemon gingerbread pancakes with poached pears is a must. It’s so soft it’s like eating clouds! Pro tip: go on a sunny day and sit in their patio area, it’s like a secluded garden! Average meal: $12.
Third stop: Gum Kuo in Oakland, CA. Authentic Cantonese food is a rare find in the States, especially in Texas. My love affair with Cantonese congee began when my cousin-in-law took me to a street stall in southern China serving shrimp congee. That was also the first time I met him- no surprise that it made a very good introduction and left great impressions! This restaurant is hidden in Oakland’s Chinatown and specializes in all sorts of congee, the most popular being the preserved egg and pork congee, or as some of you might have heard before- Thousand Years Old Egg and Pork Congee. Pair that with their duck rice roll makes a perfect brunch. Comfort food to the max. Average meal: $8
Last stop: Maneki in Seattle. And that’s where the salmon comes into play. Seattle has abundant farmer’s markets, and there are lots of seafood stalls given Seattle’s port location. Alaska salmon is everywhere, along with fish that is only caught in the Northwest like black cod. My friends recommended to me this popular Japanese restaurant for a taste of Seattle’s fresh seafood. I ordered their black cod which was grilled to perfection and the salmon nam bam, which is a sweet and sour cold dish of breaded salmon chunks. Probably the best Japanese restaurant I’ve been to outside of Houston (Uchi is still my favorite). Pro tip: make reservations a day head or risk waiting for 30 minutes. Average meal: $20.
Coming back from the Northwest, I made this miso salmon dish in spirit of the seafood abundance I experienced in Seattle. Always short of a good salmon recipe? Here you go!
Miso Glazed Salmon
- 3 pieces of salmon filets
- 2 Tbsp miso paste
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- sliced green onions for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 F. Prepare the marinade by mixing together miso, mirin, soy sauce, brown sugar and sesame oil in a mixing bowl. Coat salmon filets with marinade and marinade for 30 minutes.
Turn oven to broil. Broil salmon for 8-10 minutes or until edge is golden brown.
Sprinkle green onions on top. Enjoy with white rice or chickpeas!